The 71st Miss Universe pageant takes place on January 14 at the New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, with over 80 women from around the world competing for the coveted title.
As R’bonney Gabriel, the current Miss USA, came onto the stage of the Miss Universe competition in New Orleans on January 11, her costume had many on social media wondering whether this was a pageant or a new “Masters of the Universe villain audition.”
Gabriel – the first Filipina-American to win the crown in October 2022, was appearing in the National Costumes phase of the competition, the final of which is to be live streamed on January 14. The model sported a “Woman on the Moon” costume, designed by Patrick Isorena.
Miss USA pic.twitter.com/xzFVvuIXXM
— Clown World ™ 🤡 (@ClownWorld_) January 14, 2023
“As a Houston native, where the NASA space center is located, I am proud to be from a city working to send the first female to the moon. The purpose of this costume was to inspire women in all spaces across the universe to dream big, shoot for the moon and achieve something out of this world,” R’bonney Gabriel wrote earlier on Instagram*.
Gabriel’s costume comprised a huge, moon-shaped crown, along with a long-sleeve bodysuit decorated with glittering stars, and a pair of silver metallic thigh-high boots with sharp pointed toes.
As the model visibly struggled to walk across the stage with grace befitting the occasion, the Internet reeled. From a “stripper landing on the moon,” to “the Alien,” the comparisons were hardly flattering.
Designer: So what were you thinking?
Miss USA: Well, something elegant, but not too plain. You know something that shows that I am patriotic, but also have a sense of style and class.
Designer: Best I can do is an exploding flag robot running away from an indiana jones boulder https://t.co/A11Mf7xcMf pic.twitter.com/pzLDNTIoNS
— Carpe Donktum🔹 (@CarpeDonktum) January 14, 2023
Meanwhile, Miss Ukraine was clad in an angelic warrior’s outfit “slaying” on stage, in a symbolic gesture of its U.S.-funded war against Russia.
Ukraine is SLAYING on stage, along with her beautiful feathered wings. What an inspiration to all. 💙 #MissUniverse pic.twitter.com/bP3LA4gDsx
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) January 12, 2023